The UK Border Agency has published its response to allegations that the points-based system is failing to stop migrants from entering the UK illegally under the pretence of being students.
Jeremy Oppenheim, head of the points-based system at the UK Border Agency, said:
‘The points-based system means that only those colleges and schools who provide quality education and take responsibility for their students will be licensed to bring in foreign students.
‘Schools and colleges are inspected by accreditation bodies and the UK Border Agency to ensure they are genuine. Before we tightened controls, around 4,000 UK institutions were bringing in international students; this currently stands at around 2,000.
‘Anyone coming into the UK must satisfy the Border Force officer that they meet the immigration rules and will comply with any conditions attached to their visa. If they cannot, the officer can and will refuse entry.’
The licensing process, which educational institutions go through to get on to the UK Border Agency’s Tier 4 Sponsors Register, has seen the number of private colleges culled from 4000 to just 2000. This would indicate that the tough new regime is working.
As sponsors, colleges are now required to monitor student’s attendance and progress on behalf of the government and can be shut down if they fail to do so.
The increasing number of students applying to come to the UK is a sign of Britain’s popularity as a world leader in education.
International students are worth £8 billion to the UK economy, according to the Home Office.
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